Directed by: Maria Peretzi
RODA is affiliated with the Gurdjieff Foundation of Greece. Its aim is to establish the tradition of the Theater of the Sacred, to study on a practical and experiential level the teachings of the great philosopher of Pontus, Gurdjieff, through theater, music and dance.
Mrs. Peretzi puts special emphasis on the participation of everyone in the group in every step of the theatrical process. The lighting, the sound, the electrical installations of the stage, the transports and the setting of the sets are all carried out by all its members in a collective work. Having realized that the essential obstacle to achieving quality in any group effort is the conflicts of people that polarize their creative forces, both interpersonal conflicts as well as internal conflicts within, RODA studies in practice how to overcome such frictions.
With his spiritual exercise the “actor” of the RODA theater works essentially to restore the relationship with the deeper Self, with Consciousness. The effort to transcend the habitual postures of one’s body, the automatic emotion and reactions to the life stimuli, becomes the tool for revealing one’s true potential, and one’s connection with the sacred within. In this way, the spectator also becomes the recipient of a living initiatory process.
Books & Music
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“…The unexpected marriage of Gilgamesh’s epic with Gurdjieff’s music and dance teaching is the homonymous play by the theatre group “Roda” directed by Maria Peretzi. In a relatively confined space, the group manages to present on stage the basic structure of the epic, interspersed with the eerie melodies and the special hand and body movements taught by the philosopher. In several theatrical performances of this period, the spectator’s experience is brought to the forefront, comparable in importance to the play itself. In Gilgamesh’s case, the 40-50 wooden viewers’ chairs are right next to the stage, while to the right of the audience the small orchestra with its evocative music and the intense falsetto of the saxophone help the audience feel the awe required in the face of a primordial epic.
The choreographies of the theatre group, which are part of the teaching of the Gurdjieff Foundation, play an important role in this. They tie in harmoniously with the on-stage narration of the turbulent life of King Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu and their battle for power, life and death. The descent of the gods and their involvement in human affairs is successfully serviced by the costumes, make-up and the director’s view of stage transfer. The performances of the members of the theatre group contribute to the viewer’s passage through the myth of Gilgamesh and his wanderings with the hero in the Forest of Cedars…”.
“…Since its foundation in 1991, the theater group “Roda” has faithfully served the idea of a “sacred” ritual theatre and at the same time the idea of a total theatre that is not just the sum of the numerical parts of a drama without a common denominator. To be a “constitution of things” that goes beyond the nominal number of its parts. A view close to the conception of Aristotle’s “Poetics”. Also according to a Lao Tzu’s quote “A chariot is more than the mere sum of its parts”. Its function is added.
This humanistic perception is served by the “Roda” group in the performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at the “Theatro Vrachon”, directed by Maria Peretzi, with the efficient translation, considering sounds and ease of speech by Dimitri Peretzi…”.
“…The RODA music group has focused in recent years on the interpretation/presentation of the music of G.I. Gurdjieff, a Greek mystic and philosopher of Pontus who recorded music (i.e. sounds and rhythms) from the depths of Asia, thus presenting us with a whole new music world that bridges East and West. In this sense, Gurdjieff was a pioneer of so-called world music that and what he recorded using musical notation (with the collaboration of his pupil Tomas de Hartmann) is considered as thoroughly modern music. Essentially, it is trance of the most charming and mystic kind, elements of which we can find in contemporary “minimalist” composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, etc. Besides, Gurdjieff’s music has been played by such internationally renowned musicians as Keith Jarrett…
RODA music group (….) interprets the music with almost religious piety, bringing out its richness in all its details. In this way they create a whole world of sound that blends harmoniously with the video art film by Orpheas Peretzis, shown throughout the concert (the performance was played on 2, 3 and 4/9 at the Theatre of Rematia and has also been presented previously at the Athens Concert Hall). The result as a combination of music and moving visual images – with scenes/motion from both everyday life and historical reality – give the fascinating aspect of a spirituality accessible to all. Gurdjieff’s music is charming and traveling…”.
“…The RODA theatre (a group of trained and talented professionals and amateurs) has for several years been involved in what it calls “Sacred Theatre” … (In the performance “Alcibiades, Saint”) Two were the most important elements on my opinion.
The first was the different approach of the personality of Alcibiades mainly through quotations from Plato and Thucydides… The second important element of the performance was the impressive live on-stage reenactments of the Eleusinian and Cabeiri Mysteries, as well as the Mysteries of Pan.
Excellent performances that highlighted both the historical study of the group and its theatrical daring…”.
“…Before seeing the play “Alcibiades, Saint” at the Zirinio Stadium in Kifissia, I didn’t know what to expect. Now that I have seen it, I highly recommend it. Wherever you live, go to the Vrachon Theatre on Monday 25 July and see it. It’s a pity that such a great performance is only for one day, you cannot imagine what a great performance it is!
I hope that they will present it sometime in the winter, and I even hope that at some point – soon – the artistic director of the Athens-Epidavros Festival, Mr. Vangelis Theodoropoulos, will bring it to the Herodion, so that foreigners can see it, who will surely be speechless and impressed, as I was.
I would like to point out the innovative theatrical costumes, the 30 amazing actors on stage, the wonderful text, the exquisite music and vocals of the live orchestra that accompanied and highlighted the dramatic action, creating an atmospheric sound that literally transported me to that era, the lighting of high esthetics, and last, but not least, the direction of Maria Peretzi. Many congratulations and praise are due to the theatrical group RODA that for so many years offers performances/spectacles so original – away from the trivial -, lively and interesting, and so rare!…”.